Nolubabalo Nobanda Biography
Makhanda’s Nolubabalo Nobanda originally from Grahamstown since renamed Makhanda who viral in world news after, she was arrested at Bangkok International Airport in December 2011 for allegedly attempting to smuggle 1.5kg of cocaine from Brazil to Thailand.. Nolubabalo Nobanda has been released after serving seven years of her 15-year sentence in a Thai prison touching grounds at OR Tambo International Airport on Thursday, September 19th, 2019.
The truth is we all know drug dealers in our Kasi. What are we doing? We blame foreigners ONLY!Our brothers are glorified as hustlers. I don’t see any reason to glorifying her, she should be sent to Lagos. This an insult to Jabu Baloyi! #NolubabaloNobanda #JabuBaloyi pic.twitter.com/C33e9PqyTV
— Hon Speaker (@TheAfriCitizn) September 20, 2019
Nolubabalo Nobanda Age
She is now 30 years old after 7 years jailed in Thai land. The time of arrest she is just 23 years old.
Nolubabalo Nobanda Arrest & Incarceration in Thailand
Nobanda fondly nicknamed ‘Babs or Babsie’ hit the headlines in South Africa when she was arrested at Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi Airport on December 12th, 2011 after getting off a Qatar Airways flight. Police said they noticed a white substance in her hair. They found 1.5kg of cocaine with an estimated street value of $150000 in her dreadlocks.
Nolubabalo Nobanda’s police statements stated that she’s a human trafficking victim of Nigerian drug dealer brothers, who offered her a job in Brazil through her friend, Sulezi Rwanqa. She was forced to swallow condoms with cocaine, and smuggle 600g of cocaine into Thailand. pic.twitter.com/pKRo4KMODj
— Africa Facts Zone (@AfricaFactsZone) September 20, 2019
Nolubabalo Nobanda Release
She has been released after serving seven years of her 15-year sentence in a Thai prison touching grounds at OR Tambo International Airport on Thursday, September 19th, 2019 a month after her release. Henk Vanstaen, the Thai resident who has supported her throughout her incarceration in the kingdom, believes she has learnt a lot.
Nobanda was released from prison in late August 2019, after which she was transferred to an Immigration Detention Centre where she underwent more administrative processing
#Nolubabalo “Black child, they tried to dehumanise you by parading you in front of cameras while they arrest drug dealers daily in silence. You’ve served your time… don’t be distracted by the holy than thou ones, it’s time to rebuild your life.” https://t.co/JGkA8pSo7a
— Times LIVE (@TimesLIVE) September 20, 2019
Hugging her visibly emotional family members at the airport on, Nobanda said it felt good to be back home and expressed her appreciation to South Africans for their support while she was in prison.
“It’s good to be back home,” she told the broadcaster. “I want to thank all South Africans for their support over the past eight years. It hasn’t been easy, but I just want to thank my country for their love, support, and prayers. I’m back home and I’m back stronger.”
She said her top priority now was to spend time with her family but promised that “it’s not the last time South Africans hear from me”.
“I’m looking forward to being with my family right now and catching up.”
Nobanda is the fifth South African Vanstaen has assisted in returning to the country, and he has campaigned tirelessly for the government to consider prisoner transfer agreements.
On May 2019, Thando Pendu was freed under a Royal pardon on the eve of the coronation of Thailand’s King Vajiralongkorn. The two have been the subject of books and documentaries in South Africa. It is a shocking story of the evil of Nigerian led human trafficking and drug trafficking were vulnerable women are lured into a captive life as drug mules and given up to authorities when they are no longer of use to their evil masters.
Hank Vanstaen, a Belgian who resides in Thai has spent years helping South African women abandoned in prison in Thailand, believes that Nobanda and her friend Thando Pendu were innocent victims of human trafficking who finally now have a chance to live their lives again in freedom.
Nolubabalo Nobanda Obtained a Degree while in Thai Prison
…and just because we know others are forced/threatened into doing things…illegal things…doesn’t mean everyone who says “they threatened to kill me/my family” is telling the truth…come on now…sibadala wetshu…?….#NolubabaloNobanda pic.twitter.com/FGsnA227cu
— ?Bianca van Beserk? (@HerRoyalHotLass) September 19, 2019
Nobanda obtained through distance learning while in a Thai prison.
According to Henk Vanstaen, via the Daily Dispatch newspaper in East London, he said: “I know she learnt a lot during her stay here. Not only she will come out with a degree in communication, but what is more important, with the realisation that she took her destiny in her own hands and became a better person.
Nolubabalo Nobanda Future Plan and Statements After Release
— God’s Plan™ (@BulelaniCiki) September 19, 2019
Nobanda has hinted that she plans to use her experience to raise awareness and stop other young people from falling into the same trap.
She expressed her gratitude to South Africans for their support.
“It’s good to be back home, I want to thank all South Africans for supporting me throughout the eight-years,” Nobanda said.
“It hasn’t been easy, my people have been behind me, I just want to thank my country for all their love, for all their support and all their prayers. I am back home stronger, I just want to spend time with my family.”